This year’s Pixar release in theaters was supposed to be “Soul” but Covid wanted us to get it via streaming without needing to gather and we did. Soul went straight to Disney’s streaming service, Disney+ on Christmas day. I was excited for this one as I am with all Pixar movies but this one intrigued me because I didn’t quite get the premise completely from the previews.

Here’s the rundown on this animated flick. Joe is a middle school band teacher who real dream in life is to be a famous Jazz pianist. He’s really good at tickling the ivory’s but feels like he hasn’t got the shot he deserves. One day he gets a call Grom, a former student, who plays in a well-known Jazz quartet and they need a new Piano guy and Joe gets the gig. His excite fuels him with so much joy that he gets on his phone and calls everyone not realizing that he’s not paying attention and falls into a man hole and dies.

Okay, so he fell into an uncovered man hole that had safety cones around it. What’s the lesson here? Is it city maintenance safety precautions? Is it being aware of your environment? Is it just not being an idiot? It’s all 3 really and led to a man’s death. A lot of people tend to die in Pixar movies or lose limbs. A Pixar character is like being a character on Grey’s Anatomy. Enjoy it for now but death is always right behind you.

So, he’s dead and this is where the movie actually starts. Joe is now a soul on his way to the great beyond on the day he was going to get his big break. That’s not happening and he needs to find his way back to earth and his body which is in a coma in a hospital. Funny thing is that nobody knows he’s in the hospital. Even after he finds his way back to his body not one person was informed about his tragic demise. Anyway, where was I, oh yeah, his Soul.

I don’t want to dive too deep into the story here but it involves Joe mentoring a soul to hop a ride back to earth to eventually get into a cat’s body and soul 22 goes into his. Think about it. That the 22nd soul ever created and has not wanted to be human ever but Joe gets it to earth but it goes into his body.

The movie is about what drives you and for Joe it’s Jazz or is it? Joe rediscovers himself by showing 22 that being human has so much to offer and Joe ends up learning from 22.

It’s not a kid’s movie. It’s definitely a writer’s take on death, afterlife and even before life wrapped up in beautiful animation. It’s really a deep movie in regards to the overarching story/plot. This is more like Inside Out and less Onward. What would kids take from this? They would take that life is about finding what’s brings you the most joy and that doesn’t necessarily mean a glorified hobby but it could be the little things such as friendships, food or even nature.

Soul has its funny moments but it’s more about discovering your drive for life with great scenes such as Joe telling a student not to quit Jazz or talking to his barber and really explaining to his mother his true dream. It’s good but not Pixar “OMG” you’ve got to see it. The animation is top notch with the lighting and textures you think some of the scenes are real life backdrops. I don’t expect anything less from Pixar.

If you have Disney+ check it out and if you don’t no need to rush out and buy it. I enjoyed it but I have a feeling most will find it average.

Editor review




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